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New year, new activities: Community education offers more to Blackduck in 2014

Community education will offer more in 2014 than it did in 2013, according to Community Facilitator Ryan Grow.

“My board is getting quite colorful,” Grow said of his bulletin board covered with different colored sign-up sheets for activities available to Blackduck residents.

Some activities will be offered in Blackduck for the first time and some will be returning due to popular demand.

An elementary ice skating clinic will begin on Monday and Grow wasn’t sure if that had been in Blackduck before.

He was approached by Laurie Miller-Dickinson, who has taught skating lessons before in Bemidji. She has enrolled her children in Blackduck Schools and wanted to offer it here, according to Grow.

Two different sessions will be offered to elementary students. The first will be with kindergarten through 3rd grade on Mondays from 5:15 to 6 p.m. and 4th through 6th grade will be 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. Wednesdays.

Trap shooting will also be offered in Blackduck for the first time in 2014. Grow said that the informational meeting held for the activity in mid-December was successful with about 40 people attending.

According to Grow, trap shooting is one of the fastest growing sports in Minn.  “I’ve wanted to implement that here since I got the position,” he said.

Trap shooting is where participants will aim and shoot a gun at clay pigeons that are fired into the air.

A basic computer class will be returning to Blackduck at the end of January, also. Grow said that he was approached by community members to offer a class that taught general knowledge of computers.

A similar class was offered a few years ago, according to Grow, and it did have some success.

With the growing presence of social media on the internet, Grow said that it might cover some basics of that.

“It’s more geared toward the senior age community, but it can be open to anyone,” he said.  

Andra Vaughn, Athletic Director for Blackduck Schools, will teach the class. She has a strong background in computer, Grow said.

Community education also has several returning programs this winter including the elementary basketball cheerleading clinic, snowmobile safety and the “Old Timer Basketball” tournament.

The Old Timer Basketball tournament is open to participants 18 and older and will go on for six weeks.

Community education wasn’t in charge of the tournament in recent years, but will be in 2014.

“It’s always been a big hit,” Grow said.

The ongoing programs of “Wednesday night volleyball” and judo have also seen a great amount of interest. Judo, the mix of martial arts and wrestling, was extended until the end of February and is coached by Jerry Young.

“Kids and parents that are involved are really satisfied with what the instructor’s doing with it,” Grow said.

Registration and liability forms and waivers for all community education activities can be found online at under the district tab. Forms can be mailed, emailed or brought to the community education office at Blackduck High School.

Jillian Gandsey

Jillian Gandsey is the Multimedia Editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is an Iron Range native and a 2013 graduate of Bemidji State University. Follow Jillian on Twitter and Instagram @jilliangandsey. Contact her at 218-333-9786, 218-996-1216 or at 

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